RPS Subscribers Are Best!

Dear Your Sinclair, thank you.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun is rather good. Isn’t it? We rather love writing it, and making sure it stands out in an internet of gaming news and snooze. We do it for love, and for money. Mostly the former. However, if you’re interested in increasing the latter, there’s always the option of subscribing. We don’t make a big fuss about it, because we’re both modest and financially naive, but clicking here will let you set up a Paypal account that lets you give us $2 per month. But why on Earth would you want to do that, when you already gave 10p to that tramp? Well, because subscribers are our favourites. And we treat our favourites best, with a fortnightly newsletter, secret competitions, and first access to beta codes and special offers. In fact, we’ve got a subscriber-only beta key giveaway coming up later this week.

What sort of thing do we mean? Well, in the last few months subscribers have been given beta codes for a number of MMOs like Star Trek: Online, subjected to competitions for copies of games, and offered amazing deals like 40% off the cover price of PC Gamer. Even free copies of Jim’s book. When we get a squillion beta keys to give away, we always offer them to our subscribers first so they can be guaranteed success, before we open it up to the giant festering pool of the rest of the internet.

Plus there’s the RPS Subscriber Newsletter. Now, it could be argued that these have been somewhat sporadic of late, but thanks to New Technology we’re going to be sending them out every fortnight unless John’s arms fall off. (And that had better be the reason – Rest Of RPS) The wonderful people at Positive Internet (especially the heroic Johnathon) have sorted us out with mailing list software that means we don’t crash our own email accounts every time we try to email you. This contains a special kind of gibberish that only RPS could offer, as well as letters from subscribers. For instance, here’s a chunk from the latest newsletter that went to our subs today:


Kieron: He’s been writing comic books! This is how it works: he listens to a song, and then writes down his feelings about it. If it’s a loud song, he probably ends up writing about an angry giant with a giant hammer. If it’s a quiet song it’ll likely be about fairies. If it’s some rubbish with shouty girls and pretentious lyrics about the Milanese and Neapolitan War, then we could expect another series of Phonogram. Then he sleeps.

Alec: Moved by the injustice of the universe, Alec has taken on the mantle of a superhero. Clad in lycra, two antennae erupting from his cowled head, a soon-to-be-trademark proboscis curled beneath his exposed nose, he stands on the rooftops of London, unleashing insectoid fury upon all who may do wrong.

Jim: Donning his monocle, Jim took to the seat of his gas-powered bi-pedalled automocycle and set off for the laboratory. He was greeted at the door. “What are you doing here at this hour?” enquired his tiny assistant, Podlington. “I’ve happened upon quite the most extraordinary idea!” said the top-hatted wordsmith. “You know how I’ve always complained that words don’t last nearly long enough?” Podlington nodded, batting away at a robofly that was insisting on settling upon his hood. “Well, what if we were to extrapolate the very essence of vocabulary, distil it down, and inject it into the heart of some of the finest English language?” The two stared at each other for a full minute, the silent exchange of eyebrow twitches and flaring nostrils debating the finer intricacies of such a process, before they declared as one, “TO WORK!”

To any passing outside the sounds of whirring and clunking would have put fear into their souls. Sixteen hours passed, smoke billowing from two of the three chimneys emerging from the roof of the laboratory. The third emitted a long, howling bellow.

“Here it is!” cried Rossignol. “The very finest essence, made from only the most eloquent verbiage. Now we must choose a word, the very most excellent word, in which to inject this potion. And then, then my young friend, the power of that word will be unstoppable! UNSTOPPABLE!”

“But what word?” asked Podlington, staring up at his sesquipedalian boss. “Yes,” Jim replied. “What word indeed?”

John: John’s been fine.

So if you want in on all this, with behind-the-scenes rambling, special offers, and hush-hush-secret competitions, then subscribe!

A quick FAQ:

Why Paypal?

Because it’s the only way we can organise the ever-changing numbers of people who are subbed. Paypal lets us manage your email addresses and subs super-easily, and allows anyone from anywhere in the world to subscribe with whichever currency they use. Please note: the email address you use for Paypal will be the email address to which we send the newsletters/offers. It can be no other way.

Why dollars?

Because, again, it’s international. But Paypal does the conversion for you, so you’ll pay the equivalent amount in your own currency automatically.

But I don’t have a credit card.

You absolutely don’t need one. You can set up Paypal to take the money directly from your bank account, or your debit card. It’s only $2 a month, so unless you surf your overdraft like a broke Kelly Slater, it shouldn’t bring about unwanted surprises.

But I want to give you more money! How do I do that?

No, really. We are genuinely asked this frequently. We’re as confused as you. The answer is, just now, we are unable to change the price of a subscription. It’s $2. And we’re also, at the moment, unable to take this in lump sums. (We’re working on a way of doing this, but you must understand that we’re essentially baboons with internet connections.) If you’re desperate to give us your money, you can use the “Donate” button, and put in however many hundreds of thousands of dollars you wish to give. However, we must stress that this won’t make you a subscriber for more than one month. To subscribe, you must sign up to the $2/month thing as well. Some people are mad/brilliant enough to subscribe multiple times (don’t worry – our mailing list software strips out repeated addresses, so you’ll only get emails once). But if it’s something you want to do, the best way really is to donate a lump sum, and sub separately. And if that’s something you want to do, then, wow, thank you.

I’m a subscriber but I didn’t get my subs letter/offer I was interested in.

You must make sure that you’re checking the email address you use for Paypal. It’s absolutely not possible for us to send stuff to a different address than the one set up on your Paypal account. About 99% of the time we receive the above complaint it’s been because people have forgotten which email address they used for Paypal. It’s pretty likely to be that. If not, email us at subscribers@rockpapershotgun.com and we’ll look into it. And find out that you’ve forgotten which email address you use for Paypal.

But your site already has adverts all over it – isn’t that enough?

We currently make a small amount of money from RPS – certainly nowhere near enough to live on. Advertising, plus subscriptions, gets us some of the way there. And the more money we can make from RPS, the more time we can spend on RPS. We know the ads have sucked of late, but we’re working on that, and soon you shall not be seeing banners for MMOs about ladies’ bottoms, or how best to gather credit card debt.

I love FAQs and wish they could go on forever.

We all do, but sadly they must end eventually.


  1. Forceflow says:

    *tops up paypal account*

  2. Leelad says:

    Never realised that I could….on it!!

  3. Jacques says:

    John’s right, we are the best. Especially me.

  4. Ben Abraham says:

    I live this FAQ and do not want it to end. Can I donate more money to get it to go on forever?

  5. Choca says:

    I dislike monthly subscriptions, make it yearly and I’ll gladly pay.

    • Thermal Ions says:

      Another vote here for an annual sub, but all those non binding benefits listed* have finally motivated me to go and put some money in my paypal account. Assuming apathy doesn’t kick in within the next 3 days I’ll likely subscribe once the funds hit.
      *Also I won’t need to feel guilty blocking the ads when cncplyr’s friends start feeding dodgy (i.e. pop-ups, not ladies bottoms) ads into the network again.

  6. Jon says:

    $2 a month is fantastic value for RPS.

    • Grunt says:

      $2 is insultingly low for a site that gives much more value than any print magazine you care to mention – and in a timely fashion (plus the comments are usually a hoot)! I wanted to pay more when I subscribed but was not clever enough to think of doing it multiple times.

      I probably owe my ownership of Portal to this site, for which I am now exceedingly thankful. Beat THAT print magazines!

    • Kocaloca says:



      Date of Sign Up: 25 May 2010
      Subscription Name: Rock, Paper, Shotgun
      Subscription Number: *-**********************

      The exchange rate for this purchase is 1 GBP = 1.38888USD
      Subscription Terms:
      $2.00 USD for each month

      When I get paid I’ll throw you chaps a proper donation too. I always post pseudo-anonymously and I don’t have any real interest in logging in or getting any VIP treatment (unless it involves some kind of sensual lap dance from Johnny to the tune of Hell March, naturally) or whatever it is you are offering….. Just keep this site & community going with your usual candid commentary and amusing musings on our glorious nation of Pcgamia. I’ll be more than happy with that.

      Oh and if you lot ever decide that this site isn’t worth maintaining any more or you suddenly have other things in your lives you foolishly deem more worthy of your devotion, I may have to put some sort of jihad on you all. Am I joking? Who can tell? I’m a Random Internet Person – anything is possible. It’s probably safer not to tempt fate……

  7. Clovis says:

    I was highly offended by the banners for MMOs about ladies’ bottoms.

    Now, if you could feature banners for MMOs about ladies’ bottoms being applied to cakes, I would subscribe a couple more times …

    • Urthman says:

      When, oh when will someone finally make a driving game featuring a woman in high heels furiously flooring the gas pedal?

  8. Octaeder says:

    Ah, so the newsletter thing was a problem with mailing software. I was beginning to think you had an even more sporadic RPS version of Valve Time.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Octaeder : Yeah – we basically got over the limit where we could use a CC:ed Gmail and had to scramble around for another solution. And the one we have now is lovely. Hail John and Posi.


  9. Baka says:

    I really tried to support you, several times, but the second I log into this paypal-thingie it asks for my CC-Dataz. Maybe I’m blind or stupid or both, but I can’t find the “I want to pay on a normal way”-button.

  10. Cashii says:

    I tried subscribing with my (non-credit card) account, but Paypal claims that I absolutely need a credit card due to the payment settings. I’m confident my Paypal works, considering how often I use it for Steam purchases.

    Is there no way around that? Sadface.

    • RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

      @Cashii, Incredible that you can still use ‘e-checks'(that’s what they call em now) with steam! PayPal just isn’t as flexible as it was a year ago, when PayPal would just allow you to buy stuff without a credit card, and they would simply get the money from your bank account. These days you need to have money on your account, or send an e-check. In either way, buying stuff now takes two weeks in stead of 20 seconds.

      Unless you constantly keep money on your account. (Keep in mind, PayPal is not a bank)

    • Thermal Ions says:

      Must depend upon either (1) where you live, (2) if you’ve “validated” (or whatever term they use) your Paypal account, or (3) have a credit card linked to your Paypal account as a backup funding source. My Paypal account always sits with a Nil balance, and all my purchases through Paypal are effective immediately and made by debiting my linked savings bank account.

  11. Dood says:

    I would have subscribed long ago if it were not for PayPal. But since they blocked my Account for no reason at all I can’t.

  12. Carra says:

    Paying $2 a month would make me feel a bit less guilty about using addblock.

  13. CloakRaider says:

    Is the newsletter emailed to the paypal email, or can we give an alternate one?

    • Wordy says:

      That is a Frequently Asked Question, so I would advise reading the FAQ for the answer.

  14. teo says:

    Does subbing remove the ads? That tends to be standard practice

    • Thermal Ions says:

      Never seen that listed as a “benefit”, but I guess if you’re running Firefox then you could run Adblock on the site without feeling guilty if you’ve subbed.

  15. Robert says:

    Wait.. what’s wrong with ladies’ bottoms?

    • Sarlix says:

      Wow, wish I got ladies’ bottoms….I just get adverts for industrial grinding machines and milling accessories.

      I’m not even joking.

    • jeremypeel says:

      Some kind of middle ground between ladies bottoms and industrial grinding machines sounds ideal. I’ve actually found that some adverts have been pretty complementary to my RPS experience – the live action trailer for the new Halo, for instance, merged quite nicely with all the discussion about FMV the other day.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      Ladies with bottoms, holding industrial tools?

    • Thermal Ions says:

      Ah the internet, where you’ll find a video for very occasion. Very satisfied with this thread now.
      EDIT: Even one for the girls amongst us. (Watch at your own risk)
      link to video.google.com

    • Sarlix says:

      Really? I’m not. I would hardly call the tools ‘industrial’. One of those girls was wielding your standard BnQ angle grinder. I wanted to see one of them operating a 4-way multi-threaded laser cutter with built-in sensory display node. I am literary disappointed.

    • Sarlix says:


      classic typo there.

  16. Sarlix says:

    I’ve tried to support too, but when I go to the subscribe page it tells me it’s not secure and the page is only partially encrypted – kind of puts me off putting in any personal info.

    I just click on your adverts a lot instead, is that good enough?

    • John Walker says:

      Paypal should be completely secure.

    • Wordy says:

      You don’t need to click on adverts unless you’re interested in MMOs about ladies bottoms.

      They’re usually pay-per-view, not pay-per-click. Which is why adblock is so evil.

    • Sarlix says:

      I seem to get a non-secure sign at the paypal log-in screen, it’s the same on the subscribe or donate page. It could just be my browser so I will try in another one. Failing that have you got an email address I can paypal directly to? I dislike the idea of subscriptions and would rather just give you a years sub up front. After all It’s the least I can do for posting so much off topic crap. The hive mind is a tolerant one!

    • John Walker says:

      As we say above, a regular Paypal sub is the only way. Our Subscribe/Donate page is not a secure one, because it takes no details. All that is handled by PP’s servers, which are – to the best of my knowledge – completely secure.

    • Sarlix says:

      OK thanks, I will get on it.

  17. Gabe McGrath says:

    Been reading RPS for ages, and I’ve never heard of subscribing till now.
    (Like, c’mon guys… there’s “soft sell”, and there’s really SOFT SELL.)

    PS: +1 for an annual sub.

  18. Arsewisely says:

    Oh, go on then. If you’re that desperate.

  19. Bowlby says:

    You know, not that it’s any of my business, but it would not be the most offensive thing to have a “Show your support: subscribe to RPS!” button on the front page. Sure, I personally am not going to pay, but half the time I forget you even have a subscription feature, if I were going to. (Pay, I mean.)

    • John Walker says:

      It’s right there at the top of the screen. Always has been.

    • Bowlby says:

      Oh, right. I get that you don’t want to shove it in the reader’s face, and that really is a great thing, but that link is pretty small, and I don’t think I’m alone in not having spotted it.

    • John Walker says:

      Well no. But then, that’s why we occasionally do posts like this. We’re just so modest.

    • Bowlby says:

      An admirable virtue, to be sure. :)

    • Philip L says:

      Wow, I didn’t even know there WERE links at the top of the page! Thanks for pointing that out.

  20. Crescend says:

    Subscribed, 2$/month is great value for a site which keeps me up-to-date to all pc-gaming news when I’d be otherwise too occupied to follow them ; )

  21. zipdrive says:

    I don’t do subscriptions, I really don’t. But because this is RPS, I will subscribe Just This Once if Alec (or any of the others) promises to teach me how to put DA WORDZ together so prettily.

  22. zipdrive says:

    How does one unsubscribe if, heaven forbid, one is inclined to do that?

    • Clovis says:

      I’m pretty sure you send an e-mail or tell paypal to stop paying them.

      The only problem is that if you unsubscribe, John will call you for months with fantastic offers if you sign up again. SO annoying …

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      zipdrive: Basically, on your paypal management screen, you’ll have the option to cancel the payment.


    • Rinox says:

      I think ZIpdrive should be put under intense scrutiny for asking subversive questions like that.

    • RobF says:

      Yeah, you just cancel the sub in paypal and it goes away.

      Sadly, I’ve had to do this as I’ve had to really cull down my spends in the past few months so sorry RPS chaps, it’s not that I don’t love you and I’ll pick it back up as soon as the casheroo looks a bit more rosey.

  23. cncplyr says:

    Paypal is evil, they banned my account, and several of my friends aren’t allowed to have accounts because they have ‘known terrorist names’.

    • John Walker says:

      Yes, but are they known terrorists?

    • Thermal Ions says:

      How lazy are parents getting these days when they can’t even be bothered checking http://www.terroristbabynames.com before naming their newborns.

    • jeremypeel says:

      I find it difficult to believe how easily someone putting ‘http://’ in front of any old rubbish convinces me of its legitimacy.

      I guess Terrorist Baby Names must have moved to a new URL…

    • cncplyr says:

      Haha who knows? They are muslim and we go to UCL…. uh oh… :P
      Also someone should clearly make that website! :D

    • Thermal Ions says:

      I actual though about it just to take the joke a bit further, but by the time the DNS propogated sufficiently (is that the right terminology) it’d be pretty pointless. When’s the next time I’ll be able to use the URL in a forum?

      /Ponders…. It could present one with an interesting personal goal though.

  24. Gap Gen says:

    $2 is obscenely good value given that one has to pay £6 per month to read similar words on paper. Keep up the good work!

  25. Kester says:

    Are there badges? The Dennis the Menace fanclub had badges.

    Or maybe a wearable John Walker beard.

    • Auspex says:

      I would like a badge also. I do however have my own John Walker beard though I like to think mine has fewer bits of food in it.

  26. Alex Bakke says:

    I subscribed because I love each and every one of you.

  27. nine says:

    In the past year or so of subbing I’ve had probably a total of ten newsletters. And they all contained promises that the next newsletter would be sent after 14 days.

    But I don’t sub because I want newsletters, so it’s cool!

    • John Walker says:

      Well, they’ve only been going for about six months, so you’re not too badly off :)

      But yes, they should be far more regular now. We’re giving them bran.

  28. Broken says:

    Been meaning to do this for ages, but I keep on forgetting. At least that’s now taken care of.

  29. sexyresults says:

    Bloody hell, I wish the email wasn’t sent to the paypal one. I’ll never get it now.

    • sexyresults says:

      Any chance of doing say a once off payment for a years sub? rather then reoccurring thing ma jig?

    • Bowlby says:

      Oooooooooh, now that I would be more inclined to do.

    • Bowlby says:

      sexyresults, there is a one-off donate button, but I’m not sure if that entitles you to all the benefits of being a subscriber.

    • Sarlix says:

      No it doesn’t, that’s what John was saying. You HAVE to subscribe if you want the newsletter plus the extra goodies. Personally I don’t care, I just want to give them some money to off-set some of my guilt.

    • Man Raised By Puffins says:

      Well, this is all dreadfully confusing. If only John would stop crying for a few seconds and spend a bit of time constructing some answers to these questions which are being asked frequently.


    • sexyresults says:

      Ah yeah, I meant a one of payment that entitled you to the goodies for the period you payed for.

  30. Auspex says:

    I got drunk in the middle of the day the other day and appear to have subscribed to RPS, WoSBlog and donated money to the “Jaz McDougall move to Bath fund.”

    I am currently unemployed.

  31. Antilogic says:

    Alright Alright you got me! :)

  32. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Yeah. Have seen the subscribe link before and clicked it.

    Setup that lump subscription mode and I’ll consider it. But monthly payments? I love you guys. I just don’t love you that much.

  33. Dawngreeter says:

    Any chance of introducing a Google Checkout system in addition to PayPal? You guys are my favorite bunch of gaming-related people who are not fully or partially female and I feel kinda bad that I didn’t see the subscription thing before… but I can’t use PayPal from this hellhole I live in. :-/

  34. Auspex says:

    Also I am currently unable to access the subscriber archive so I tried to “re”-sign up for it but then I got an email saying that a bad man was trying to steal my identity so I got frightened.

    • zipcress says:

      Wait, there’s a what now?

      Where would this subscribers’ archive be located?

  35. DarkFenix says:

    I had no idea this existed. I’ll sign up, least I can do to support my favourite gaming site.

  36. RogB says:

    there should be a law against advertising games using images that have nothing to do with it. That mmo with the 2 girls with bottoms out clearly didnt have any in game, I checked. If it did, I might have subscribed.

    Same with Evony, NOT A GIRL IN SIGHT (my lord)

    • RogB says:

      forgot to add, im not sure if it was this site, but I saw one recently for ‘Dawn of nations’ that featured 2 korean looking girls, one with a bikini GI uniform, one with a nurse uniform, both scantily clad, an m60, on top of a jeep. It was so preposterously awesome I had to save it.
      Its on the actual game site, sitting awkwardly alongside ‘normal boring game and concept art’

  37. Samuel Bigos says:

    Subscribed to support you guys. Wasn’t at all because I want a Cataclysm beta key…

    • Auspex says:

      I really hope that’s not what the beta is.

      Because I will play it.
      And I will hate it.

  38. DrazharLn says:

    I’ve subscribed, it would be nice to receive some welcoming email to the club. I’m sure the money has left my account, but I’ve received no confirmation that RPS knows that I’m in the club…

    I was expecting a cool greeting, or maybe a pic of all of RPS assembled in a “go team!” pose…

    • Samuel Bigos says:

      I got an email from Paypal, saying the money’s gone through. I guess it’s a manual thing, they have a list of emails and just send any contests/beta keys etc in bulk.

    • Sarlix says:

      Wow, really? I donated some cash and got a free Monocle!

      I also got the “go team!” pose pic, only John was slightly out of alignment and it ruined the whole thing.


    • Samuel Bigos says:

      Want, RPS please respond.

    • zipcress says:

      Isn’t the monocle what you get for subscribing to the output of J Nash? .

  39. Basti says:

    I’ll do it, no problem. However, I’d LOVE to get a full RSS feed so I can read RPS, say, on the go, or offline. Pleeeeaaaaassse, give me a full RSS feed. I’m paying for it, right? Right?

  40. Tyranny says:

    You need gift subscription capability activated. Christmas is almost here!

  41. Nimic says:

    I’ll consider it.

  42. Acosta says:

    So no more ads of ladies with generous breasts fighting as bad geared WW2 soldiers? I’m disappointed.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Barely clothed Asian women with machine guns, WW2 must have been sweet.

  43. Dave says:

    My comment got swallowed into the depths of the Internet…

    For the risk of double posting:

    Same thing here! I really want to subscribe, but PP won’t let me :( Says I need Credit Card.

  44. Fabian says:

    I just tried to subscribe from Germany and Paypal threw out this error message:

    You must add a credit card to complete this purchase. Some payments, like instant and immediate payments, require a credit card.

    Normally Paypal just deducts the money from my bank account. I thought that a credit card is not needed?

    • Baka says:

      Could someone please check into that?
      I’d really like to show how much I like this site!

    • Schaulustiger says:

      The staff already looked into it and couldn’t find a solution. Sadly, I’m also affected by this and cannot join the exclusive club of RPS subscribers. I donated a huge chunk of money instead to not feel guilty anymore.

      But it’s a shame and RPS should think about altering their subscription model so that people with strange Paypal problems can still subscribe in some way.

    • frymaster says:

      it works for me, and I’m not using a credit card

      I am using a debit card rather than some take-it-out-my-account thingy though

    • Boldoran says:

      I had this problem when I tried to buy some game on Direct2Drive recently. I asked their support why I suddenly needed a credit card since I bought games from them before without getting this message.
      They replied that for some games it is required that your paypal account is backed by a credit card and fror some it is enough to just have a paypal account.

      This leads me to belive that the seller can somehow choose whitch payment model he would like (at least for one time payments).

  45. cheeba says:

    Despite what your FAQ says, I’m certain you need a credit card on your account to start a sub on Payal. It’s been that way for anything else I’ve subscribed to. Note that only applies to subs, not any other one-off payments.

    I’d sub-up on the spot, but Paypal’s frozen my account, apparently because I received enough money this year to be considered an amateur money launderer, by their account.

    In short: DIE IN A DITCH, PAYPAL.

    • Wordy says:

      I don’t even own a credit card and I managed to subscribe without any problems.

    • Boldoran says:

      Did you add a Debit Card to your paypal account? I don’t know what a debit card is but paypal asks for acredit card OR debit card when I try to subscribe.

  46. Mac says:

    If I give you £2 a month will you ensure i do not recieve beta keys for turds like Star Trek: Online?

  47. Urthman says:

    PayPal are evil and I won’t be using them, but I will say that RockPaperShotgun is the only site on the entire interwebs that I have whitelisted in Adblock. I hope that and my heartfelt thanks are worth something to you beautiful gentlemen.

  48. cheeba says:

    Hmm, maybe it’s only applicable for certain countries. Us Irish types got the ability to pay from our bank accounts much later than everyone else, so that wouldn’t surprise me. I know subs from a non CC-linked account never work for me anyway.

  49. Brendan says:

    I would absolutely pay for this if I had the money. As it stands, I am an out of work indie developer struggling to pay bills – how often have we heard THAT one – so unfortunately, much like Urthman all I can offer is whitelisting on Adblock and my hearty thanks for providing the absolute BEST site for PC gaming news on the web.

    Rest assured that once I have a steady income you will be receiving my money-dollars.

    I’d buy you all top-hats if I could <3

  50. harvb says:

    Well I’ve subbed now. I don’t *feel* any more special. When does the magic kick in? The cherubs singing? Women throwing themselves at my feet?

    I feel cheated :(